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Home  > Raw materials & technologies  > Applications  > Protective & Marine coatings  > Preventing mussel adhesion using lubricant...

Monday, 16 September 2019
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Raw materials & technologies, Applications, Protective & Marine coatings

Preventing mussel adhesion using lubricant-infused materials

Tuesday, 22 August 2017

During marine fouling, surfaces are encrusted with scale or biological organisms, which can be expensive to remove. A group of researchers has used polymers infused with organic lubricants to prevent mussels from adhering to a submerged surface.

Mussels are opportunistic macrofouling organisms that can attach to most immersed solid surfaces. Source: Pixabay

Mussels are opportunistic macrofouling organisms that can attach to most immersed solid surfaces. Source: Pixabay

Mussels are opportunistic macrofouling organisms that can attach to most immersed solid surfaces, leading to economic and ecological consequences for the maritime industries.

Ultralow adhesive strengths

The scientists has demonstrated that lubricant-infused coatings exhibit very low preferential mussel attachment and ultralow adhesive strengths under both controlled laboratory conditions and in marine field studies. Detailed investigations across multiple length scales – from the molecular-scale characterisation of deposited adhesive proteins to nanoscale contact mechanics to macroscale live observations – suggest that lubricant infusion considerably reduces fouling by deceiving the mechanosensing ability of mussels, deterring secretion of adhesive threads, and decreasing the molecular work of adhesion. The study demonstrates that lubricant infusion represents an effective strategy to mitigate marine biofouling and provides insights into the physical mechanisms underlying adhesion prevention.

The study is published in: Science, Vol, 357, Issue 6352, 18 August 2017.

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